Sunday, November 26, 2006

Gaza cease fire

The good news is that Israel and a pact of Palestinian militant groups, including the Hamas military wing and Islamic Jihad, have agreed to a cease-fire. The bad news is that this is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and every other such effort has met failure. The cease-fire does seem to be holding, though at this point, most simply wonder how long before it, too, fails to cease the fire. Concomitant to the agreement is Israel's pledge to withdraw its troops from Gaza. This all sounds hopeful, but the problem the Palestinians have in upholding their side of the bargain is that they lack control of at least some of the militant groups, which have been at each others throats as much as acting in opposition to Israeli forces in the beleaguered strip. The inability of the Palestinian Authority to exercise control over these groups was immediately visible when nine rockets were launched after the designated 6:00 am start of the cease-fire. No one was injured and tempers seem to have cooled. It seems like hoping against the inevitable, but let's do hope this continues and the Palestinian civilians can get some much needed relief, both in aid and comfort.


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